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Sulaiman: Drugs Not Major Problem in WBC Boxing

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The world did not end in December last, as some people interpreted the Mayan predictions, but our planet Earth is sending human beings serious messages. A devastating hurricane came over New York. There are constant earthquakes in many countries. A snow storm fell on Boston and New England as never before in known history. The pope resigns and a lightening falls on the Vatican. Two days later a meteorite falls on Russia, leaving 1,000 injured, while one other, 100-times larger, passes close to Earth at 10% distance compared to the moon.

Several countries are in a permanent war while one other provokes an earthquake with an atom bomb testing. Human beings continue creating more and more controversy. Boxing is no exception. The alleged punishment by USADA of Erik Morales for analysis of minimal doses of clembuterol, even when the USADA lab tests were clean, raises a big controversy and confusion in Mexico. Anybody in this country could have clembuterol, as it is natural for those eating meat. Such a sanction has no acceptance in title bouts of the WBC, as the only ones to make the antidoping tests are the WBC itself and the local boxing commissions, whose tests were clean.

It seems that the USADA extend sanctions when they are aware of an athlete proving positive even when not in action. That is NOT the case in boxing. We only want to check doping for assuring that no boxer competes with any influence of drugs over his rival. The WBC implemented anti-doping tests since 1976, which was the first rule that was implemented after my first election – much before most other sports institutions. The WBC is mainly concerned about stimulants, including marijuana, which it is said that it is depressing, drugs that affect the mind of boxers, not to understand the limits of human endurance. We also forbid any medicine-drug that might hurt the health, sooner or later, of boxers.

I do not favor other muscle-building drug testing unless they are physically dangerous, because boxing is a unique sport that is very different from most other sports. Boxers desperately suffer in every fight to make the weight and there are countless cases of excessive dehydration that threaten their lives. In a boxing match they have two rivals: the weight and his contender. Boxing has 17 divisions. The welterweight division has a 7-pound difference from super welterweight. The heavyweights have about 70 pounds difference from a lightweight.

On the other side, there are athletics – swimming, football, football soccer, baseball, basketball, tennis, and so many others – where weight or height makes no difference. So what is the problem: If a fighter takes a drug for muscles, for example, he will meet one other boxer of his new weight – so where is the problem? However, if any drug might hurt the health of a boxer, then it is prohibited totally.

This form of looking for outside lab tests was born, I believe, because of the request of our dear champion Floyd Mayweather asking Manny Pacquiao for special lab tests. Afterwards, others came the same. Well, boxing has a rule: all boxers shall be subjected to antidoping tests before or after the fights in the dressing rooms, where laboratory people get it. We, in boxing, care for boxers not being in a fight with any drug influence according to boxing rules.

That is the way that the WBC intends to continue its almost 40 years of having antidoping tests, when only 15 boxers have tested positive with drugs in more than 1,000 fights. Whoever doesn’t like it can go somewhere else. There must be respect and trust of the boxing organization when it has proven to have been honest and impartial, like the WBC has been.

Thank you for reading my thoughts.

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2015 Fight of the Year – Francisco Vargas vs Takashi Miura

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The WBC World Super Featherweight title bout between Francisco Vargas and Takashi Miura came on one of the biggest boxing stages of 2015, as the bout served as the HBO pay-per-view’s co-main event on November 21st, in support of Miguel Cotto vs Saul Alvarez.

Miura entered the fight with a (29-2-2) record and he was making the fifth defense of his world title, while Vargas entered the fight with an undefeated mark of (22-0-1) in what was his first world title fight. Both men had a reputation for all-out fighting, with Miura especially earning high praise for his title defense in Mexico where he defeated Sergio Thompson in a fiercely contested battle.

The fight started out hotly contested, and the intensity never let up. Vargas seemed to win the first two rounds, but by the fourth round, Miura seemed to pull ahead, scoring a knock-down and fighting with a lot of confidence. After brawling the first four rounds, Miura appeared to settle into a more technical approach. Rounds 5 and 6 saw the pendulum swing back towards Vargas, as he withstood Miura’s rush to open the fifth round and the sixth round saw both men exchanging hard punches.

The big swinging continued, and though Vargas likely edged Miura in rounds 5 and 6, Vargas’ face was cut in at least two spots and Miura started to assert himself again in rounds 7 and 8. Miura was beginning to grow in confidence while it appeared that Vargas was beginning to slow down, and Miura appeared to hurt Vargas at the end of the 8th round.

Vargas turned the tide again at the start of the ninth round, scoring a knock down with an uppercut and a straight right hand that took Miura’s legs and sent him to the canvas. Purely on instinct, Miura got back up and continued to fight, but Vargas was landing frequently and with force. Referee Tony Weeks stepped in to stop the fight at the halfway point of round 9 as Miura was sustaining a barrage of punches.

Miura still had a minute and a half to survive if he was going to get out of the round, and it was clear that he was not going to stop fighting.

A back and forth battle of wills between two world championship level fighters, Takashi Miura versus “El Bandido” Vargas wins the 2015 Fight of the Year.

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Jan 9 in Germany – Feigenbutz and De Carolis To Settle Score

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This coming Saturday, January 9th, the stage is set at the Baden Arena in Offenburg, Germany for a re-match between Vincent Feigenbutz and Giovanni De Carolis. The highly anticipated re-match is set to air on SAT.1 in Germany, and Feigenbutz will once again be defending his GBU and interim WBA World titles at Super Middleweight.

The first meeting between the two was less than three months ago, on October 17th and that meeting saw Feigenbutz controversially edge De Carolis on the judge’s cards by scores of (115-113, 114-113 and 115-113). De Carolis scored a flash knock down in the opening round, and he appeared to outbox Feigenbutz in the early going, but the 20 year old German champion came on in the later rounds.

The first bout is described as one of the most crowd-pleasing bouts of the year in Germany, and De Carolis and many observers felt that the Italian had done enough to win.

De Carolis told German language website RAN.DE that he was more prepared for the re-match, and that due to the arrogance Feigenbutz displayed in the aftermath of the first fight, he was confident that he had won over some of the audience. Though De Carolis fell short of predicting victory, he promised a re-vamped strategy tailored to what he has learned about Feigenbutz, whom he termed immature and inexperienced.

The stage is set for Feigenbutz vs De Carolis 2, this Saturday January 9th in Offenburg, Germany. If you can get to the live event do it, if not you have SAT.1 in Germany airing the fights, and The Boxing Channel right back here for full results.

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2015 Knock Out of the Year – Saul Alvarez KO’s James Kirkland

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On May 9th of 2015, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez delivered a resonant knock-out of James Kirkland on HBO that wins the 2015 KO of the Year.

The knock-out itself came in the third round, after slightly more than two minutes of action. The end came when Alvarez delivered a single, big right hand that caught Kirkland on the jaw and left him flat on his back after spinning to the canvas.Alvarez was clearly the big star heading into the fight. The fight was telecast by HBO for free just one week after the controversial and disappointing Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao fight, and Alvarez was under pressure to deliver the type of finish that people were going to talk about. Kirkland was happy to oblige Alvarez, taking it right to Alvarez from the start. Kirkland’s aggression saw him appear to land blows that troubled the young Mexican in the early going. Alvarez played good defense, and he floored Kirkland in the first round, displaying his power and his technique in knocking down an aggressive opponent.

However, Kirkland kept coming at Alvarez and the fight entered the third round with both men working hard and the feeling that the fight would not go the distance. Kirkland continued to move forward, keeping “Canelo” against the ropes and scoring points with a barrage of punches while looking for an opening.

At around the two minute mark, Alvarez landed an uppercut that sent Kirkland to the canvas again. Kirkland got up, but it was clear that he did not have his legs under him. Kirkland was going to try to survive the round, but Alvarez had an opportunity to close out the fight. The question was would he take it?

Alvarez closed in on Kirkland, putting his opponent’s back to the ropes. Kirkland was hurt, but he was still dangerous, pawing with punches and loading up for one big shot.

But it was the big shot “Canelo” threw that ended the night. Kirkland never saw it coming, as he was loading up with a huge right hand of his own. The right Alvarez threw cracked Kirkland in the jaw, and his eyes went blank. His big right hand whizzed harmlessly over the head of a ducking Alvarez, providing the momentum for the spin that left Kirkland prone on the canvas.

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez went on to defeat Miguel Cotto in his second fight of 2015 and he is clearly one of boxing’s biggest stars heading into 2016. On May 9th Alvarez added another reel to his highlight film when he knocked out James Kirkland with the 2015 “Knock Out of the Year”.

Photo by naoki fukuda

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